In case you’ve been living under a rock, I’ll repeat the largest NHL headline of the century. John Scott is an all-star. That’s right, the 6’8” enforcer was selected by fans to lead the Pacific Division’s squad. This is despite the fact that Scott only has accumulated 11 points over his entire career. This is also despite the fact that Scott has been waived by the Arizona Coyotes three times this season. This is also despite the fact that Scott is probably among the worst possible skaters to play 3-0n-3 hockey.
The Purpose of the All-Star Game
What is the All-Star Game if not a festival for the fans? The Skills Competition is disappointing, the game itself resembles nothing like an actual hockey game, and a good number of the selected players come down with “mysterious” injuries to avoid playing at all.
With scorelines reaching far into the teens and little to no hits, the game itself is somewhat of a joke. Defense is non-existent and goalies are abandoned to 3-on-nones. So, why should the fans take it any more seriously than the players? The fan vote to get Scott into the game, let alone captain an entire squad is the perfect outcome to a dreary situation.
Sure, the game is meant to showcase the best of the NHL and to put superstars and rivals on the same team for a night. But, the physicality and nature of the sport makes it impossible to play a real game when it means nothing to skaters on the ice. Sidney Crosby won’t risk injury for a game that doesn’t help the Penguins win a Stanley Cup.
John Scott and the Best of the League
We’re in the Finals of the 3-0n-3 tourney, the Pacific is tied with the Metropolitan but they have just iced the puck. Joe Thornton is kicked out of the face off circle and who replaces him? That’s right, Big Bad Johnny Scott. Alex Ovechkin rockets a slapshot off Scott’s loss at the dot and the Pacific loses.
But, that’s not the worst thing that could happen. In fact, the novelty of watching Scott drag himself behind the play at the All-Star Game will probably bring large TV crowds back. It will at least be more than the usual offensive “explosion” would bring in.
And Scott has always posited himself as a likable guy in the locker room. While that doesn’t excuse some of his more egregious actions on the ice, it does provide for a more useful headline than the All-Star Game festivities normally give. Perhaps Ovechkin’s silly antics can be matched this time around.
The fans, whether this is insulting to Scott or not, have spoken. He is aware of his role on teams, to the point where his goal celebrations are wonderfully meta. We shouldn’t be angry that the most talented guys in the world will have to put up with Scott. Today’s NHL allows us to watch superstars play every day. The All-Star Game is more of a mid-season vacation, so why not make the most of it by actually putting some intrigue into it?